We're rolling now. At least we're pushing now. With no engine and no trans we do a lot of pushing, but at least our stripped-down shell isn't heavy. Some very nice people at Goodmark and Year One rushed us the body parts we needed and that got our Muscle Malibu looking like a real car.
Luckily, the right door and quarters were solid and not banged up, and we could have spent hours and hours beating on the fenders and left door, but that didn't make a lot of sense when there are perfectly good replacement parts available for a reasonable price. We even took advantage of the Goodmark people and got a new hood and cowl support so the entire front body is new.
After we discovered a bit of handiwork on the frame that looked like someone was trying to straighten it with a torch, we had it tweaked on a frame machine. Not only will that assure us our body parts will bolt up right, but we're planning on some serious big-block horsepower, which could very well twist a weak or bent frame. We feel better now.
If you're looking for a ton of bodywork on this car we have to disappoint you a bit. For a car that's almost 40 years old Muscle Malibu has led a fairly good life. Maybe it's because it spent the last seven years in an underground parking garage, or maybe it's just been a California car most of its life, but there's no rot, very little rust, the floors are still solid, and except for a minor wreck that tweaked the front, this thing is a find. If you're looking for a tip, we say buy one like this.
Of course that isn't always possible so we're lucky to have Goodmark and Year One around to help when most of the old parts need to be new again. We're really getting anxious to get this Chevelle done and on the road. Follow along as we do just that, issue by issue.